HENSTRIDGE, Hector David

Service Number: SX3800
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: Australian Commando Training Battalion
Born: Norwood, Adelaide South Australia, 13 October 1910
Home Town: Balaklava, Wakefield, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Printer
Died: Illness, Soldiers Memorial Hospital, Balaklava, 4 March 1973, aged 62 years
Cemetery: Centennial Park Cemetery, South Australia
Memorials: Balaklava District WW2 Roll of Honour
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World War 2 Service

3 Sep 1939: Involvement Lieutenant, SN SX3800
28 Jul 1941: Promoted Australian Army (Post WW2), Lieutenant, Armoured Corp
8 Oct 1941: Transferred Australian Army (Post WW2), Lieutenant, 2nd/6th Division Cavalry
21 Jun 1945: Honoured Distinguished Service Cross, American Distinguished Service Cross for parachuting to the rescue of three US airmen lost in enemy held territory in the Western Ramu Valley, New Guinea
4 Jun 1946: Discharged
4 Jun 1946: Discharged Australian Commando Training Battalion
Date unknown: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Lieutenant, SN SX3800
Date unknown: Involvement Lieutenant, SN SX3800, Australian Commando Training Battalion

Help us honour Hector David Henstridge's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Sharyn Roberts

Hector David HENSTRIDGE was born on 13th October, 1910 in Norwood, Adelaide, South Australia

His parents were Francis Leslie HENSTRIDGE and Amy Gertrude ATKIN

He had joined the Citizens forces (23rd Light Horse) on 17th February, 1930  - Service No. 88665 and had re-engaged with the CMF and was discharged on 1st September, 1936 - 

He enlisted at Wayville, SA on 9th January 1939 as a Warrant Officer

His ranks were Temporary Sergeant 9th January 1939, Warrant Officer 17th June 1939 , Lieutenant 28th July, 1941 - his rank at discharge was a Lieutenant in the Commando training battalion

Hector married Joan JACKSON on 13th June, 1942 in the Malvern Methodist Church

He was awarded the American Distinguished Service Cross 21st June, 1945 for parachuting to the rescue of 3 US airmen lost in enemy held territory in the Western Ramu Valley in New Guinea - only one other Australian soldier is believed to have been awarded this medal which is the highest award which can be made to a non American

He was a Lieutenant in the Armoured Corp, 28th July 1941 and then transferred to 6th Division Cavalry Regiment on 8th October,1941 

Hector returned to Australia with his unit aboard the Taroona on 3rd September, 1944 - he was transferred to Command, 38th Australian Squadron A.L. Sect on 7th September 1944 to 10th March, 1946 - he also served with the Army Recruiting Staff from 11th March, 1946 to 4th June 1946 and was discharged on 4th June, 1946

Some of his service history is illegible but you can check his service file on the link provided for further details

He died on 4th March, 1973 at the Soldiers Memorial Hospital in Balaklava, South Australia and is buried in Centennial Park Cemetery in Adelaide


His brother Leslie Lancedene HENSTRIDGE (SN41697 died on 13th April, 1943 in a plane crash in Cairns Harbour in Queensland



Hector Henstridge US Distinguished Service Cross Citation:

The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Hector D. Henstridge, Lieutenant, Australian Imperial Force, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving with 25th Liaison Squadron, near Dumpu, New Guinea, from 17 February to 12 March 1944. Lieutenant Henstridge voluntarily descended by parachute into a jungle behind enemy lines to rescue an officer and a soldier of the United States Army Air Force. With full knowledge of the dangers of the jungle and of possible enemy patrols, he made his first parachute jump, after which he led his comrades to safety in a hazardous twenty-four day march. By his heroic action, Lieutenant Henstridge not only saved two lives, but in addition he contributed significantly to our knowledge of the territory through which he traveled.

 Distinguished Service Cross.

(a) Criteria. The Distinguished Service Cross was established by Act of Congress July 9, 1918 (amended by Act of July 25, 1963), 10 U.S.C. 3742. It is awarded to a person who, while serving in any capacity with the Army, distinguishes himself or herself by extraordinary heroism not justifying the award of a Medal of Honor while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States; while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing force, or while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing Armed Force in which the United States is not a belligerent party. The act or acts of heroism must have been so notable and have involved risk of life so extraordinary as to set the individual apart from his comrades.

 National Defense. Subtitle A - Department of Defense (Continued). CHAPTER V - DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY. SUBCHAPTER F - PERSONNEL. PART 578 - DECORATIONS, MEDALS, RIBBONS, AND SIMILAR DEVICES. - General.


For further reading refer to links on the left of this page ...

Hector Henstridge ran the Plains Producer newspaper at Balaklava, South Australia. He passed away in 1973.